born on 13/12/1964 in Buffalo, NY, United States
died on 17/5/2020 in Dallas, TX, United States
Alias Judge Kenneth Peterson
Lucky Peterson (born Judge Kenneth Peterson; December 13, 1964 in Buffalo, New York) is an American musician who plays contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll. He plays guitar and keyboards. Music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray has said, "he may be the only blues musician to have had national television exposure in short pants."
Peterson's father, bluesman James Peterson, owned a nightclub in Buffalo called The Governor's Inn. The club was a regular stop for fellow bluesmen such as Willie Dixon. Dixon saw a five-year-old Lucky Peterson performing at the club and, in Peterson's words, "Took me under his wing." Months later, Peterson performed on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and What's My Line?. Millions of people watched Peterson sing "1-2-3-4", a cover version of "Please, Please, Please" by James Brown. At the time, Peterson said "his father wrote it". Around this time he recorded his first album, Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson, for Today/Perception Records and appeared on the public television show, Soul!.
As a teen, Peterson studied at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, where he played the French horn with the school symphony. Soon, he was playing backup guitar and keyboards for Etta James, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Little Milton.
The 1990s were a prolific period for Peterson. Two solo Bob Greenlee produced albums for the Chicago-based Alligator Records (1989's Lucky Strikes!, and the following year's Triple Play) remain his finest recorded offerings. He then released four more for the Verve record label, (I'm Ready, Beyond Cool, Lifetime, and Move). While with Verve, Peterson collaborated with Mavis Staples on a tribute to gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, called Spirituals & Gospel. Peterson played electronic organ behind Staples' singing.
More albums from Peterson came after 2000. He recorded two for Blue Thumb (Lucky Peterson, and Double Dealin'), and one for Disques Dreyfus entitled, Black Midnight Sun. In 2007, he released Tête à Tête on JSP Records.
In 2013, the Blackbird Music/55 Arts Club DVD of Live At The 55 Arts Club Berlin was nominated for a Blues Music Award.
Current work and lifestyle
Today, Peterson lives in Dallas, Texas, and maintains a rigorous tour schedule performing all over the world.
Peterson has four children.
- 1969: Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson – Today TLP-1002
- 1972: The Father, The Son, The Blues (with James Peterson) – Today TLP-1011
- 1984: Ridin' – Evidence 26033; originally issued on Isabel 900.519 [LP] and IS-919.2 [CD].
- 1989: Lucky Strikes! – Alligator 4770
- 1991: Triple Play – Alligator 4789
- 1993: I'm Ready – Verve 517513
- 1994: Beyond Cool – Verve 521147
- 1996: Lifetime – Verve 531202
- 1996: Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson (with Mavis Staples) – Verve 533562
- 1998: Move – Verve 537897
- 1999: Lucky Peterson – Blue Thumb/Verve 547433
- 2001: Double Dealin' – Blue Thumb/Verve 549475
- 2003: Black Midnight Sun – Dreyfus 36643
- 2004: If You Can't Fix It (with James Peterson) – JSP 8816
- 2006: Lay My Demons Down (with Tommy McCoy) – Blues Boulevard 250232; originally issued on Green Swamp.
- 2007: Tête à Tête (with Andy Aledort, Larry McCray) – JSP 8805
- 2009: Organ Soul Sessions – Emarcy/Universal (France) 5313798 [3-CD set]; also available individually as Brother Where Are You? (5313801), Mercy (5313800), and The Music is the Magic (5313799).
- 2009: Darling Forever (with Tamara Peterson) – JSP 8814
- 2010: Heart of Pain – JSP 8824
- 2010: You Can Always Turn Around – Dreyfus 36967
- 2011: Every Second a Fool is Born – JSP 8831
- 2012: Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin (with Tamara Peterson) – Blackbird Music 201209 [2CD]
- 2013: Whatever You Say (with Tamara Peterson) – JSP 8848
- 2014: I'm Back Again – Blues Boulevard 250357 (a single disc compilation of the 55 Arts Club set)
- 2014: The Son of a Bluesman – Jazz Village 570035
- 2014: Travelin' Man – JSP 8854
- 2015: July 28, 2014: Live in Marciac – Jazz Village 570076
- 2016: Long Nights – JSP 3001
- 2017: What Have I Done Wrong: The Best of the JSP Studio Sessions – JSP 3009 (compilation)
- 2017: Tribute to Jimmy Smith – Jazz Village 570135
- Long Beach Blues Festival